Sidmouth’s virtual Folk Festival is an online hit

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 August 2020

Kitty Mcfarlane and Matthew Crampton presenting the virtual folk festival. Picture: Tash Daly

Kitty Mcfarlane and Matthew Crampton presenting the virtual folk festival. Picture: Tash Daly

: Kyle Baker

There may not have been singing in the pubs and dancing in the streets, but Sidmouth’s virtual Folk Festival still attracted a large online crowd last weekend.

There may not have been singing in the pubs and dancing in the streets, but Sidmouth’s virtual Folk Festival still attracted a large online crowd last weekend.

Around 17,000 people watched a live stream of music, video and chat from a secret location in Sidmouth on the evenings of Saturday, August 1 and Sunday 2, hosted by Kitty Macfarlane and Matthew Crampton.

The shows featured live sets from Steve Knightley and Jim Causley, along with interviews and recorded performances from a host of folk stars, from the local area and further afield.

During the two days, the Crowdfunder appeal to secure the festival’s future saw a boost of more than £16,000, exceeding its extended target to hit more than £104,000, with donations still coming in.

The festival’s artistic director Alan Bearman described the fundraising response as ‘amazing’.

He said: “Many thanks to everyone who has supported us since the cancellation of this year’s festival.

“That includes the ticket holders who have rolled over their tickets to next year, all those who have donated and the hundreds who have joined in the crowdfunding campaign.

“Sincere thanks to all the artists, businesses and others who have offered a huge range of rewards.”

The virtual festival continued through the week, with dozens of workshop events for music and dance lovers of all ages. More than 1,000 bookings were taken in the first day alone.

Folk fans showed their appreciation for the online events by leaving comments on the Crowdfunder site.

One person said: “Thank you for being online this year Sidmouth and huge thanks to all the artists and back-up team who are giving their time and talents to perform, teach and keep folk music alive in these times.”

A lover of Sidmouth from New York State, USA, said: “Thank you for the virtual fest as we could not possibly have travelled to the UK this year so while we are missing the festival, we are not missing out any more than anyone else. We hope to see you again in future.”

To watch the recorded live streams of the weekend shows visit sidmouthfolkfestival-live.co.uk. To make a donation, visit crowdfunder.co.uk/the-sidmouth-folk-festival


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald